Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bolinho de Bacalhau

A few nights ago I was craving this delicious treat, but I am cutting down on the calories and the original recipe is fried.  Fortunately, thanks to the recommendation of our friend, Alfredo Pong, we purchased a Nuwave oven and cooked this delicious little balls in it.

Bolinho de Bacalhau is nothing more than codfish balls. Delicious codfish balls.  They are Portuguese in origin but Brazilians have made them famous.

I am always researching for ways to perfect the dishes I cook and this time I was very happy to find that one of my favorite chefs, Julia Child, also liked to make Bolinho de Bacalhau, she called them "Aunt Priscilla's Codfish Balls" and this time and every time from now on, I will repeat her trick.

Without further ado I present you Bolinho de Bacalhau.

Photo by Laura

  • 1/2 pound fresh cod
  • 1 1/4 cups of mashed potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp of finely chopped flat leave parsley
  • 1 large egg
  1. Simmer a small onion, thinly sliced, with a bay leave and two pepper corns in two cups of water.  After 5 minutes, add the cod and an additional cup of water.  When it simmers, cover the pan and remove from heat, that way the cod stays soft.  You can keep the cod in this liquid in the refrigerator until ready to use.  And this is Julia Child's trick, let me tell you it made all the difference, she was a genius and I love her.  Thank you Julia!
  2. Drain the fish, place in a bowl and flake it thoroughly.  Add the mashed potatoes, beat the egg with a pinch of kosher sea salt and add them to the fish and potatoes.  Add parsley and taste, if you think is necessary add kosher sea salt and pepper.  
  3. Wait a good half hour to form the balls. 
  4. Place the balls on the lower rack of the Nuwave oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden.
  5. This recipe gave me about 25 codfish balls.
These were delicious.  Please make them at home and share your thoughts. 

Buon Appetito! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

This is such a hearty dish that I suggest, if you have children and they don't want to eat their veggies, make this dish for them and I guarantee they will scrape their plate clean.  This is a recipe I took from one of my vegetarian cookbooks and change it a little bit to my taste.  This is a family favorite at my home.

Photo by Laura

  • Four boxes of frozen broccoli florets, 10 oz each, coarsely chopped and thawed
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Kraft extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Kraft Italian five cheeses, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons of roasted pimientos, diced
  • Kosher sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola cooking spray
  • Panko 

Photo by Laura

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife.  Place flour and  dry mustard in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Gradually add milk, broth and whisk until blended.  Cook until thick, about 8 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add cheeses and Dijon mustard, stir until cheeses are melted.  Add roasted pimiento peppers and broccoli tossing to coat.  
  3. Coat a baking dish with the canola cooking spray and spoon in the broccoli and cheese mixture.
  4. Mix together the Panko and Cheeses and sprinkle evenly over the mixture.  Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the mixture.
  5. Bake until bubbly about 20 minutes, depending on your oven.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 
Photo by Laura
All I can say is YUM!  My friends were really impressed with this delicious dish.  Please do make this at home.  Share your thoughts.  

Buon Appetito! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Basil Avocado Cups

Last Sunday we had friends over.  I invited them to a  vegetarian feast.  This recipe was part of the menu and a total success.  It is my version of a recipe I saw a while ago.   I know you will like it as much as we did.

Basil Avocado Cups - Photo by Laura

  • 1/4 cup Basil Pesto*
  • Grapeseed oil
  • 24 Wonton wraps
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 3 ripe avocados, diced -I used the Mexican ones
  • 1/2 cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Chives
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Basil Avocado Cups - Photo by Laura

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Lightly coat both sides of the Wonton wrap with the oil, put two wraps  together and press them into a 12 muffin cups.  Make sure that the bottom are as flat as possible.  
  2. Bake the Wonton wrappers until golden and crispy for about 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the softened cream cheese, goat cheese, basil pesto, garlic, salt and pepper.  Carefully, fold the diced avocado into the cheese mixture.  Scoop the Basil Avocado among the Wonton cups.  Garnish with the Chives.  
Basil Avocado Cups - Photo by Laura

*The Basil Pesto can be made ahead of time.  You can use the herb of your liking.  

Please do make this recipe at home.  Be creative and enjoy.  Don't forget to let me know.

Buon Appetito!